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Old 08-23-2012, 01:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
Formula SAE Engineer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: United States
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I believe you are on the right track with the wheel layout. Anyone who has tried to turn a 3 wheeler with one up front and two in the back at high speeds quickly finds out what a dynamic disaster they are! (How companies are even allowed to sell them with the one front wheel configuration is beyond me, it's unbelievably unsafe...)

The only issue I have with front wheel drive is that unless you plan on creating downforce in the rear for high speed driving, front wheel drive will essentially leave you floating on high powered casters up front, which isn't really very safe.

In my search for vehicle dynamic heaven, two wheels up front and one in the back, plus rear wheel drive seems to be the stairway.

Suspension and weight transfer issues are still bothering me, but we aren't trying to pull 2 lateral G's.

I know a lot of people on the forum equate downforce and drag, but lift causes drag too, so if I had to choose, I'd go with downforce (more tire grip -> better handling -> not flying off the road from a 40 mph crosswind).

If you're really going to move forward with this, I would be happy to assist you in your design! When reducing the weight of the car by such a large amount, you're going to need completely new spring rates, maybe even new damping (shock absorbing) rates, a new suspension design for the rear wheel so you don't break your back, and a bajillion other things. Well, need is my opinion, but I try to design things I can't kill myself in.
Max Trenkle
Student Engineer - TTU Motorsports
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